Saturday, September 11, 2021

Carry On Utility Trailer for Small Boats

10 Sep 21:

It fits! We checked Dynamic Sunfish Dolly width clearance again on our Carry On utility trailer, that was fine, and in doing so, found out we could indeed close the ramp and still have dolly clearance from the tow vehicle. This solves most of our small boat towing issues, except the Penobscot dolly is too wide, but we think it will fit on a Sunfish dolly.

Dolly and hull tied to the trailer.

We'll tie the bow painter to the dolly for long hauls.

Tongue tied to the trailer.

The Sunfish should ride smooth on the strap, and the Spars On Deck cover will keep the spars and sail secure.

Inches to spare.

Friday, September 10, 2021

1963 Alcort Sunfish CHIP and the Salish Sunfish Club

 10 Sep 21:

CHIP is settling in at her new homeport, evidently a Salish Sunfish Club has started with his friend TRIP. Her new Skipper is Emiliano Marino, author of The Sailmaker's Apprentice. Emiliano has a sail making business in Pt Townsend, WA, he put the nice window in CHIP's sail, so CHIP has landed in a nice comfy spot in the Pacific Northwest. We look forward to hearing more about CHIP's new adventures!


Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Pelican Icon CLARK and SACAGAWEA 05 Sep 21 Carry Strap Replacement

 05 Sep 21:

We had 2 broken carry straps on our Pelican Icon kayaks so I ordered replacement parts from Pelican months ago, they arrived, we moved and I actually found them in our large pile of boat bits.

i had replaced the other 2 straps before, and found it was best to leave the old strap rivets, cut off the old strap and drill new holes for the new straps.

Here are the threaded screw inserts.

We used the screw to screw in the insert, then removed the screw to attach the strap.

Skipper's kayak gets identification tape.

Sunfish Shack Portholes

 04 Sep 21:

Cut new portholes on the starboard side for Skipper's cannon and got the windows tacked in.


 03 Sep 21:

Skipper expressed a desire to take out our 12 foot Alcort Standard Sailfish WINNIE next, which elicited the thought of "Uhoh" from me, as I knew that WINNIE's hull was buried in the garage in front of the Mustang and her sails where in a disorganized pile by the wall. Since the Sunfish Shack is almost finished, it was time to dump the garage and sort out the gear that will stay in the garage, and move some of the pile into the Sunfish Shack until the new Carriage House is built.

First we rolled out Skipper's wagons.

September? Close enough to put out Halloween decorations we think, while we TETRIS the garage.

We added shelf brackets to the wall, and ONKAHYE is now ready to deploy.

The menagerie of rudders and daggerboards will eventually live in the Carriage House.

Furniture dollies come in handy.

v1.0 of wooden Alcort storage...

...then we figured out we could move the smaller Sailfish WINNIE and create enough space to back out the Mustang without having to move anything else, because it has to make a small turn on the way out. WINNIE is now accessible as well as her sail and spars.

Small Boat Trailer Adaptation

 29 Aug 21:

We are pondering ideas to adapt our 5x10 Carry On utility trailer to haul our Armada of small boats, up to 14 feet. One of the boats is our 14 foot Penobscot, ST. JACQUES. We pulled her out to take some measurements and while she was out, reunited her with her sprit rig.

Our 10 foot kayaks fit on the trailer perfectly, so no problem there. The ramp on the back of the trailer becomes the issue when we load bigger boats.

Small Boat Utility Trailer video: Small Boat Trailer

Today we also finished the ramp for the trailer deck, which is where the utility trailer will live eventually.

Alcort Super Sailfish Handrails

29 Aug 21: 

We got another order for Alcort Super Sailfish handrails, so we pulled out the tools to cut a new pair. We have not found a local source for cypres yet so we used spruce, it is lightweight and strong, but definitely will benefit from a couple of coats of varnish or epoxy.

We have a pattern for the handrails, and traced out the first pair. While we do have that full size pattern, we only use half of it on one end, then flip it over to mark the other end, which gives us the best symmetry. Spoiler Alert: We missed the knot on the upper right, that would eventually lead to that handrail not being suitable for use on a boat, but we'll find a decorative use for it somewhere.

Better to avoid the knots when tracing out the handrails.

We also cut the rails from a 2x4 and then ripped the 2x4 to get the 3/4 inch width, normally we have 1x dimensional lumber that measures out at 3/4.

Used the pattern to set the rail height.

Another Spoiler Alert: When we got done turning wood into sawdust today we figured out the we can make 4 rails out of a 41 inch long 2x4 by ripping the 2x4 to width and heighth.

Blanks cut to heighth and width.

Used our DeWALT cordless jigsaw to cut out the end curves. It is easier to round over the top edges with the router and 1/8th inch roundover bit at this point, but we forgot and cut out the handrail loops right away. If we round over the top edges first, there is more wood left for the router base to guide over. When it is time to round over the lower edges of the handrail loops, DO NOT round over the base surface of the handrail edges that will touch the deck.

This is what the other half of the 2x4 looked like before we ripped it lengthwise. There would be a benefit to cutting out the handrail loops before ripping, both rails would be symmetrical, and then deal with the router issue.

Along the way we used the RV SUPER POKEY's generator to power the saw and router, as a test, because you never know when you may want to make a set of Sailfish handrails while out camping and entertain your campsite neighbors with the soothing sounds of power tools...

Once everything is cut and the edges rounded, we sand with 120 grit on a DeWALT cordless random orbital sander.

The DeWalt portable table saw and stand has been a great investment. Smooth, clean cuts, easy to set up and it takes up little space in the garage. Also note the patch of shade we had to work in, courtesy of the RV SUPER POKEY's awning. She has LED lighting also, so you can work at night at the campsite :)

Not shown, the last step is to make light pencil marks for the screw holes on the top and bottom of the rails, that gives the buyer a general idea of where screws should go. We can drill the screw holes if requested, but find it best to let the buyer make sure our markings are close to where their boat's screw holes are located.

To order a set of handrails, currently available in Southern Yellow Pine, please proceed to our For Sale page.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

1980 Drascombe Lugger MKII ONKAHYE Floorboard Repurpose

 29 Aug 21:

Capn Jack replaced ONKAHYE's floorboards with pine back in the late 1980s,  and we replaced them with cypress a few years back. For a while we repurposed the old floorboards to be a trailer deck, and we almost lost them in a storm last year. Today we put on a coat of varnish, and the plan is to use them inside the home as a hat and coat rack. Minwax Helmsman was one of Capn Jack's favorite polyurethane varnishes.

1-22 more coats may needed.

Pelican Icon Kayaks CLARK and SACAGAWEA 28 Aug 21 River Run

 28 Aug 21:

We scouted out a new local spot on the James River, turns out it will be a great place to beach launch the smaller boats and it also has a boat ramp and docks. Our 5x10 Carry On utility trailer is the perfect size for the 2 kayaks Clark and SACAGAWEA, I launched Skipper then came back to get my kayak with our new Railblaza C-Tug, a versatile cart that is going to work great for the kayaks and canoe. (Small Boats Magazine C-Tug article).

Posing for article photos.

Skipper floating around the area where her ancestors wandered over 400 years ago.

The kayaks are now river certified. One more accomplishment today was testing out the layout of our boat yard, we hoped to have room to pull into the yard and make a U-turn with the tow vehicle and trailer(s), so far so good. One of the appealing aspect of small boats is the ability to keep them at your home, on the side of the house, or in a parking spot, garage, Sunfish Shack etc...They are easy to maintain and work on, and easy to transport. We spent many years with 2 small sailboats, and when we found a property close to the water and with a little more room, we expanded from a flight of 2 boats to our current Armada of 15.

Small boating is our hobby, with the subset hobby being restoration of the physical craft. At our new Station we will be shifting focus a bit to the beneficial aspects of restoration of the soul, through the use of these boats. We have new territory to explore, and many ways to get there. And we'd like to hear about your adventures.

Fair winds,
Skipper and Clark

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Trailer Park

27 Aug 21: 

We built this 5x8 section of deck back in Florida, planning to use it as part of the new Sunfish Shack, then we added legs so we could put it in a PODS container and hide a Sunfish under it as part of our move.

Today we took the legs off and decided to use it as a temporary parking deck for SMEDLEY, with future plans to expand around it to make a seating area, maybe add a pergola and use it as a shaded spot to work on boats. We shimmed the deck up to be the same level as the floor of the Sunfish SHack, and added a ramp.

We are happy to report that all the boats are out of mud pits now, either in the Shack, on a deck, a sawhorse or on a trailer. One thing we had to check on SMEDLEY was to make sure that his bow was elevated enough to let water run to his deck drains. 

Here's the exciting video: